On Saturday, an off-duty newlywed couple who both work for the Elizabethtown, Kentucky police department were out on a “date night” when a man entered the restaurant wearing a mask, and according to police, pointed a gun at the cashier and demanded cash.
That was a mistake; although the husband told his wife to take his phone and call 911 while he acted, she demurred, instead joining him to draw their weapons and rushed at the suspect, forcing him to flee until they ultimately caught him.
As WRDB reports, Elizabethtown Police Detective Chase McKeown and his wife, Officer Nicole McKeown, who have been married for six months, spoke at a news conference on Tuesday, where Chase McKeown noted that their “date night” was the result of some advice they had been given at church. He stated, “At our church, we’ve been focusing on marriage,” adding that his church encourages having a “date night” once a week.
Thus the couple went out to eat at Raising Cane’s restaurant in Louisville for a “date night,” revisiting it because it was the first place they had eaten out after their wedding. An arrest report stated that Justin Carter, 30, walked into the restaurant wearing a mask, pointed a gun at the cashier and demanded cash.
Nicole McKeown noted, “I think we kind of both saw him at the same time,” adding that she initially thought Carter was wearing the mask because it was flu season. But then she had second thoughts; she recalled, “I looked at him and said, ‘That’s kind of odd.'”
When her husband told her to take the phone and call 911, she said, she thought, “No — I’m gonna help my husband!”
After Carter fled, the couple chased after him, catching him a few blocks from the restaurant, where they held him until LMPD officers arrived.
Det. Dan Mason of the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Robbery Unit lauded the McKeowns for their actions, asserting they acted “honorably and heroically … We are police officers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on or off duty.”
A representative of Raising Cane’s added, “We are extremely blessed that they chose to dine with us. It’s because of good people like Chase and Nicole who give us good hope for tomorrow…we’ll never be able to thank them enough.”
Chase McKeown concluded that the laudatory gestures toward him and his wife were unnecessary, stating, “Maybe it’s the term ‘hero.’ We don’t feel that way. We just feel like our training kicked in.” Nicole said they’ll be back at the restaurant again, laughing, “Oh absolutely. I love Raising Cane’s.”
The Elizabethtown Police Department wrote on Facebook:
Our current vote for sweetest (and kinda awesome) couple is Elizabethtown Police Department Detective Chase McKeown and his wife, Officer Nicole McKeown. The pair thwarted an attempted robbery at a Louisville Raising Cane’s over the weekend. The couple, who met on the job at EPD when he was a patrol officer and she was a dispatcher at the agency, have been married 6 months.